Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides


By Jeffrey Eugenides

  • Release Date: 2002-09-04
  • Genre: Literary
Score: 4.5
From 902 Ratings


A dazzling triumph from the bestselling author of The Virgin Suicides--the astonishing tale of a gene that passes down through three generations of a Greek-American family and flowers in the body of a teenage girl.

In the spring of 1974, Calliope Stephanides, a student at a girls' school in Grosse Pointe, finds herself drawn to a chain-smoking, strawberry blond clasmate with a gift for acting. The passion that furtively develops between them--along with Callie's failure to develop--leads Callie to suspect that she is not like other girls. In fact, she is not really a girl at all.

The explanation for this shocking state of affairs takes us out of suburbia- back before the Detroit race riots of 1967, before the rise of the Motor City and Prohibition, to 1922, when the Turks sacked Smyrna and Callie's grandparents fled for their lives. Back to a tiny village in Asia Minor where two lovers, and one rare genetic mutation, set in motion the metamorphosis that will turn Callie into a being both mythical and perfectly real: a hermaphrodite.

Spanning eight decades--and one unusually awkward adolescence- Jeffrey Eugenides's long-awaited second novel is a grand, utterly original fable of crossed bloodlines, the intricacies of gender, and the deep, untidy promptings of desire. It marks the fulfillment of a huge talent, named one of America's best young novelists by both Granta and The New Yorker.

Middlesex is the winner of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.


  • Incredible descriptions, but a long read

    By Literary Fan
    I am not as much a fan of this as many of the other reviewers. I thought that the lengthy descriptions and the narrative voice distracted from the arc of the story, alhough I loved the historic details and the life lessons that were woven throughout. I had to make myself finish the book as part of my quest to read every Pulitzer Prize fiction winner otherwise, I’d likely have stopped before the end. The author’s voice, character names, vivid details, and brilliant turns of phrases stick with the reader even when other bits fade.
  • Very imaginative and top notch writing

    By Long legion
    This novel is one I won't soon forget. His characters are fully developed and written with such compassion, I felt as if I knew them! What a unique story.....written in a way to keep the reader interested all the way through. I loved it.
  • Eye opening

    By Adriboo;)
    I read this book for an English class and loved it. The first pages were a little slow but I was immediately hooked after.
  • Middlesex

    By CRWLC
    Such a detailed and well woven story.
  • Exceptional.

    By Pjh906
    And irreverent and I adore the style,language, hutzpah of our Author. Bravo for works at large
  • Middlesex

    By mommy a
    Eugenides. Crystallizes the depth and uniqueness of ethnic continuity.i suspect that one need not be Greek to appreciate the varied roles , perspectives and the sustenance family offers, and how it is juxtaposed with the inherent jealousies ,and predictable absurdities that exist with every extended family. But what is truly remarkable is the central concept of the genetic anomaly that occurs here and how remarkably Cal handles this with wisdom, ultimately, and possibly poetically absolving Desdemona of her primary guilt, clearing her way to .......go.
  • Life never turns out to be what you expected.

    By VioletBicycle
    I loved this book, couldn't put it down. A few reviews I have read, the reader hated it, never finished it. That is probably because they thought it was "weird". Well, it's not "weird", it's just life. We don't all experience the same things. We do, however, all have secrets and heartaches.
  • Hard to finish...

    By mganthony
    The author is too descriptive...o we really need your description of the fog rolling in, in San Francisco? I mean get to the point, it's long overdue at this point anyway. Why did we have to have back & forth with "the man" as he is now, pointless. Just tell Calliopa's story and leave it with her watching the house. Cut out all the jumping back & forth between current and then, this will lose about 150 pages and you've got a much better novel. Loved the family history and stories. As a Detroiter, I loved those descriptions as well. Not a bad read, but could have been better.
  • Perfection

    By carlopa
    Simply a full journey into what narrative story telling is all about. Humor, plot, character, and theme took me away away.
  • More than you would expect!

    By Jennifnp2b
    Fantastic read from the first page. While I thought it would be a biology book without much of a plot, I was so pleasantly surprised! What an amazing story where the reader is taken back in time and then brought to the present. The author's way with words is poetic. You will love this book and fall in love with its characters.